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SOURCE American Pharmacists Association
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- October is American Pharmacists Month and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) wants you to "Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine." The messaging of American Pharmacists Month is based on one essential fact seen in pharmacies, clinics and other care sites every day. The more patients know their pharmacist, the more they will know about their medications-the documented successes and cautionary tales; the risks and benefits; and the potential side effects and contraindications.
Medications are powerful, that's why they work. Americans spend billions of dollars each year on prescription and over-the-counter medications. If these medications are used incorrectly, the money spent is lost. In fact, the most expensive medications are those that don't work properly-or cause harm due to misuse. Every year in the U.S., failure to take medications as prescribed causes more than 1.5 million preventable medication-related adverse events and costs the health care system approximately $290 billion. When patients know their pharmacist and feel comfortable seeking the pharmacists' advice, the likelihood of medication errors occurring decreases substantially.
Your pharmacist and your prescriber are part of a health care team, working to ensure the best selection and management of your prescription and nonprescription medicines. Pharmacists are medication experts on this team and the profession is expanding in new directions to meet the health care needs of all people. Many pharmacists offer a broad array of education, prevention and wellness services to help patients improve their health and get the most out of their medications:
You should choose your pharmacist as carefully as you choose your doctor. Find a pharmacist that you are comfortable talking with, and one who takes the time to help you with your medications. Ultimately, you have the responsibility for managing your health care, but your pharmacist can help if you keep him or her up-to-date about your health and the medications you are taking. For this reason, it is important to use the same pharmacy for all of your prescription services, especially when seeing multiple health care providers. This ensures that your pharmacist has access to your complete medication history when checking for problems or possible interactions.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.
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